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MSC Summer STEM Academy a success

6/16/2015

MSC STEM Academy attendees John Whitbey and Jayden Welch put the finishing touches on their watermelon sculpture. As a team building exercise, campers were given a photograph and asked to create their version of the subject as a watermelon carving. The campers also created a poem that explained the history behind their sculpture.Another Murray State College Summer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Academy is in the books. Thirty-eight students from all over Oklahoma attended the camp this year and took part in a full slate of STEM-related activities.

This year campers were able to enjoy popular activities from years past and new events added for this year. Back for this year’s event were popular activities from the past. As in years past, attendees were taken on field trips to the Noble Foundation and the National Fish Hatchery. Other activities included a geocaching scavenger hunt around campus, a forensics activity, insect collection and identification, bird spotting, a geometry photo scavenger hunt, and of course the Bridge Bash Competition.

Parents and campers say the week was a success.

“I enjoyed my time at Summer Academy and was glad to be selected,” says attendee Emily Garner. “My favorite activities included Forensics (because our teacher was very energetic and the lessons were interesting) and the group activities. I learned so much from my experience while at MSC.”

Chanda Machebe with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation tests the strength of one of the bridges in the Bridge Bash Competition at the MSC STEM Academy. Campers built the bridges throughout the week, and on the last day of the academy Machabe and Katie Brown with ODOT put the bridges to the test.“He came home saying that now he wants to pursue a career in Wildlife Biology,” said the parent of another camper. “Until now, he didn't know about those career options. He was very thankful that opportunities like this were available to help him explore career possibilities.”

The academy is a grant-funded free camp designed to immerse participants in STEM-related activities. This was the third year of a three year grant for the academy. Parents of attendees hope the MSC Summer STEM Academy is able to continue for many more years.

“Funding for this program is essential to our to our Oklahoma students,” says parent Penny Antkowiak. “If we want students to pursue STEM-related careers we need to start young and give them the excitement, support and the funding necessary. I hope that Murray State continues this very valuable program that has proven student impact.”

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